LUXBMX Rider Spotlight #1 | Otis Walsh

A segment interviewing up-and-coming Australian BMX riders.

Otis' Instagram: @shreddymcrad 

Photos: @angussmacdonaldd 



Through the early 90s all the way up to the mid-2010s, magazines were the shit! I’ve heard every BMX rider over 20 talk about how they were so excited being a kid when they’d saved up enough money to buy a new magazine. There were heaps of companies doing printed magazines, some noticeable ones being 2020, Dig, Ride and many more. Being a younger rider I never fully got to experience magazines in their prime, the only magazine I ever had was one issue of Ride. These magazines had many articles from product info, road trip stories, interviews and my favourite part, rider spotlights. Rider spotlights were a way of showing love to kids and dudes in the scene, getting their names out there. It feels like there is a hole left in the BMX scene from when magazines faded out (with exceptions to Endless and Digs yearly book) and were replaced by the many online platforms. There's definitely been a lack of these rider spotlights. 

At a Monday morning meeting at LUX, I had the idea of a LUXBMX riders spotlight, a series where we chat with young, underrated riders in the scene. When I started to plan out riders for this, my mind went to one rider - Otis Walsh. Otis is a sick dude from outer Melbourne, he's a good dude and a damn good bike rider! I had a call with Otis and asked him some questions. Here they are! - Will Fraser 



Will: So Otis, tell us a bit about you - What's your age, and where do you live?

Otis: I’m 17 and I’m from Outer Melbourne, Victoria.

Will: Who’s your riding influence and the person you look up to most in BMX? 

Otis: Definitely a toss-up between Jordan Godwin and Felix Prangenberg, they’re both so fucking good. Godwin makes me want to quit riding flat bars while simultaneously making me want to go out and ride one haha. Felix’s riding is just flawless, he just looks at everything differently than most riders. His parts are so well balanced; perfect amount of tech, perfect amount of gnarly, and he never does the same trick twice. Also, his work ethic is something to be admired, he’s just always outputting, whether it’s one of his parts or something he’s filmed; he’s never not doing something. I also love Lew’s riding, I think that goes without saying, he’s just drowning in bike control. 



Will: Who is your influence off the bike?  

Otis: Ooo good question haha. Anyone that’s a weirdo - I just like idiosyncrasy I guess. Like Thom Yorke or something; he’s a fucking genius but also so strange and I absolutely love that. But otherwise probably my Mum, she’s the greatest human ever.

Will: Who got you into BMX?   

Otis: Definitely my Dad. Growing up I was always around bikes so it was just a matter of figuring out that I wanted to do jumps haha. Like Dad has a bunch of the old “2020” BMX magazines - which I’m pretty sure were an Australian one - so I was always reading them as well as watching the BMX DVDs we had, which was like Nowhere fast, Shadow’s “Into the Void”, Colony’s “Free”, and the Levi’s video. I reckon I started trying to ride properly at about 8-9 when I started asking Dad to take me to the skatepark on weekends - I think it just took off from there. I definitely owe a lot to Dad, he’s always got me new parts when I need them and been happy to drive me and my mates around to skateparks or to the station or taken us on little road trips and stuff. Plus he takes me to ACT jam every year and flew me up to Brisbane a couple of weeks ago for Boyd’s jam and to ride with Will. He’s the best, love you Dad!


Will: What parts do you run and why?     

Otis: My bikes are mostly Wethepeople and Eclat at the moment because their parts are just so solid and they have a sick team. I run a 20.75 Pathfinder frame (I think it’s 2022, maybe 2021?) which I love cause it has the shorter backend and steeper head tube which just makes the bike super snappy and responsive like you go to do a 3 and it just comes around like nothing. The pathfinder also has a thicker chainstay and BB tubing which is awesome since I do way too many pedal grinds and I’ve had to file down frames in the past when the BB would get ground over onto the BB spacers, so it’s nice to not have to worry about that anymore haha. I also run Eclat storm forks with 20mm offset which shortens my wheelbase even more and makes the bike even snappier. For tires, I usually run 2.35 for a bit less grab-on grinds but I’m running 2.4s at the moment and I’m actually liking them a lot more than I thought I would so they might stay. My cranks are Eclat spires in 165mm which I got second-hand (thanks Jarrod!), and they're still going strong. My stem is 48mm reach because I feel like bars just come around easier that way, I also run a front load because they just look so much cooler than top load in my opinion. I think that’s all the important parts? Oh yeah and I run a Federal coaster that actually crank flips which my past few coasters haven’t, so I’m stoked to be able to do them again. 

Will: We heard you're a music guru, what music/artist are you into?

Otis: Hahah, yes I play guitar and a bit of bass, but not a guru by any means. Most of my favourite bands kind of fit under the psych-garage-punk-indie umbrella, so like OSEES/Thee oh Sees, Ty Segall (both of whom I was actually lucky enough or see live over the past month which was the coolest fucking thing ever), Fuzz, Goat, Gøggs, Naked Giants, Orb, Kyuss, King gizz, the list just goes on and on. But I also like heaps of stuff that isn’t of that genre, like I fucking love LCD Soundsystem - James Murphy is incomprehensibly talented - and Radiohead are near the top of my list at the moment, they’re just unmatched. I grew up with a very broad range of music entering my auditory system (thanks parents) and I think because of that I can appreciate pretty much any type of music.



Will: You’ve been around a bit, what’s your favorite bmx memory or experience? 

Otis: Hmmm, that’s hard! Safe answer would definitely be ACT jam, it’s just the gnarliest but best 3 days of BMX ever. I remember a few years ago seeing Corey Walsh air the big bowl at Belco and my goodness, he could’ve just open-looped that thing I swear. Other than that I would have to say one of my favourite bmx memories would be when me, Sammy [Grace], and our mate Danny went on a little trip to Canberra in between lockdowns in 2020. That was my first time filming an actual edit with a proper camera and I had a blast.

Will: You said you lived in outer Melbourne, how are the parks out that way, which is your favourite? 

Otis: Yeah I live on the Mornington Peninsula which lines the east side of Port Phillip Bay, so I’m a bit over an hour from the city. To be honest the parks down my way can be pretty dull haha, but they’re still good fun to muck around at. My local (I call it that though it’s a 35 minute ride away) is Rosebud which is pretty much just ledges, stairs, and a few banks. The next closest park is Mornington in the other direction but that’s tiny and has like 8 obstacles in total. One of my favorites is Balnarring cause it has a pretty rad bowl and it has lights so we can go there for night sessions. The best park on the Peninsula though is probably Frankston, it’s definitely the biggest and has some pretty fun stuff, but it also happens to be the furthest away of them all. Unfortunately the best parks are closer up towards or in the city.


Will: Your Instagram name is @shreddymcrad, is there a story behind the name? If so, what is it?

Otis: Hahaha the iconic Instagram name! Yeah, my Dad actually came up with that when he made my Instagram account for me when I was like 11 because it was just videos of me “shredding the rad '', hence; shreddymcrad. I just never changed it, and I don’t think I ever will, it’s too awesome.

Will: Has it been difficult to maintain motivation to ride since you don’t live in a metropolitan area?

Otis: Yeah I’d say so. Just not having that proximity to parks or transport makes it a struggle sometimes. Me and my mates mostly have to rely on our parents to get us around since buses down here don’t let bikes on and we’re half an hour from the nearest train station. So it’s definitely hard to find motivation at times but mostly we manage because I feel like we just need to ride; it’s like if you had to walk a kilometer to get from your room to your kitchen, it would suck but you’d still do it cause you need food - we need riding. Pretty dumb analogy but you get the point haha. But honestly I think we just love riding as it is though, skatepark or no skatepark, so we’ll just go out and ride the shitty spots in our home town and still have a killer time.



Will: Thanks for giving us your time Otis! What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Otis: Of course, thanks for having me on! I think the rest of this year is just going to be a maelstrom of stress while trying to best the beast that is year 12 VCE hahah. Other than that I’m just going to try my best to keep riding as much as I can and try to get out to any comps or jams. Hopefully I can squeeze in another trip to Brisbane at some point but otherwise I’ll see you all at ACT jam? Thanks again guys :)


- Check out Will and Otis riding in Brisbane city on Otis’s trip to Brisvegas 

Keep your eyes peeled for more LUXBMX Rider Spotlights in the near future. 
Support your scene.

Follow Otis on Instagram to keep up with his riding and lifestyle: @shreddymcrad 
Photos by: @angussmacdonaldd

Interview by: @willfraserr